Maurice Robinson begins producing a critical edition and textual commentary for the Byzantine text
January 19, 2017
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) is pleased to announce that Maurice Robinson, senior professor of New Testament studies, has been named research professor of New Testament studies.
Bruce Ashford, provost of Southeastern, said, “We are happy to allow him the opportunity to increase his research and writing in upcoming years.”
For 23 years Robinson has shown faithful service to SEBTS along with the academy and the local church. He has been a student or professor under every president of the seminary other than Sydnor Stealey. He has taught Greek, New Testament and textual criticism at SEBTS since 1991.
Robinson says one of his favorite accomplishments is teaching Greek on the elementary level to equip those who will be pastors and missionaries. “I like to start with students whose knowledge of Greek is limited to letters written on a Frat house,” he said. “In one year they can pick up a Greek New Testament and read most of it. I consider it an annual accomplishment.”
In his new role, Robinson will be producing a critical edition and textual commentary for the Byzantine text. Robinson said the opportunity was just like “manna from heaven.” Until this time, his work has been during spare time in the midst of full time teaching duties.
This edition will be published in a Bible software program and will serve New Testament scholarship. Robinson says that his work will be the first of its kind and will take at least five years to complete. It will also be helpful in conversations countering other religions that question the authenticity of the Bible by presenting a consistent form of the New Testament text.
Robinson is a leading international expert on the Byzantine Textform of the New Testament. He has delivered lectures on textual criticism and the Byzantine Textform in Canada, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. More than 30 conference papers, book chapters and articles have been presented and published by Robinson. He also has prepared the Greek New Testament for various computer software programs. Forthcoming is his monograph “Text and Variation: Selected Essays regarding the Byzantine Textform.”
In 2005, Robinson published his own Greek New Testament, “The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform 2005.” He makes this Greek New Testament available at the cost of production and, by permission of the copyright, the text can be copied and shared.
“The Case for Byzantine Priority” was published as an appendix to this Greek text is Robinson’s argument and is known as one of the most sophisticated and scholarly defenses for the Byzantine text in print. While not all of his colleagues share his conclusions on the priority of the Byzantine text, many of them point to this essay as a valid argument that is worthy of attention.
Robinson became interested in textual criticism as a college student. As he began learning to read Koine Greek, he started interacting with Greek texts and Greek study helps. Discovering the presence of variant readings in the Greek New Testament set him on the pursuit to determine which reading is correct.
He excelled in biblical languages as a Master of Divinity (SEBTS, ‘73) student and focused his study on textual criticism as a Master of Theology (SEBTS, ‘75) student. In his Th.M. program, Robinson studied with Duke University Professor Kenneth W. Clark, the leading textual critic scholar in the field at that time.
Robinson’s passion to sort out the differences between the reasonably good and accurate texts and to determine a sequence of texts that most closely reflects the original form of the original text has never left him.
“Maurice Robinson’s contributions to the field of text critical studies, and to the preparation of students for faithfully ministering the Word of God are significant. He is a valued colleague and friend,” said David Beck, associate dean of biblical studies and professor of New Testament and Greek.
A festschrift including works from Robinson’s colleagues and former students has been published in his honor. Mark Billington and Peter Streitenberger are the editors for “Digging for the Truth: Collected essays regarding the Byzantine text of the Greek New Testament.”
David Black, professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern, said, “Dr. Robinson well deserves this honor and I consider it a great privilege to serve as his colleague on the same faculty. We can all look forward to many more significant publications from his hand if our Lord tarries in His coming.”
Robinson looks forward to starting his new role on August 1 funded by a partnership between Southeastern and a small group of donors.
Daniel Palmer, director of financial development, said, “These generous gifts provide the opportunity to commend our faculty for their excellence in teaching and scholarship.”
“God is going to bless the faithful servant,” Robinson said. He wants God to view him as a “good and faithful servant” of the Kingdom.
To purchase Dr. Robinson’s Festschrift click here.